Barbados to launch duty-free Friday

(Barbados Nation) Bridgetown is set to launch Duty-Free Day on Friday, with Government and the Barbados Chamber of Commerce & Industry (BCCI) very upbeat about the returns in the face of the economic downturn.

After initial objections by some of the country’s revenue collection agencies last year when the move was first proposed by the BCCI, the Ministry of Finance has now given the green light for Barbadians to spend up to Bds$1 000 without paying duty on the items.

Last night Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler told the DAILY NATION that the move to extend the duty-free provisions, which are usually only afforded visitors, could save the country foreign exchange as money that might have left the island for purchases overseas would be used at home and in local currency.

He also said Government did not expect any significant loss of duties to the state.

“We don’t anticipate there will be a revenue loss, and any loss, we believe, will be limited and should be balanced off by the increased volumes and receipts from value added tax,” Sinckler said.

BCCI president Andy Armstrong said with the current economic slowdown the initiative would be a boost for Bridgetown businesses and help in the BCCI’s plans to revitalize Bridgetown’s attractiveness as a shopping centre.

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